Power of Our Stories

This series features projects that help to preserve and share Nikkei stories in different ways—through blogs, websites, social media, podcasts, art, films, zines, music, merchandise, and more. By highlighting these projects, we hope to share the importance of preserving and sharing Nikkei stories and inspire others to create their own.

If you have a project you think we should feature, or are interested in volunteering to help us conduct future interviews, email us at Editor@DiscoverNikkei.org.

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Campu, the Podcast: Reanalyzing Japanese American Incarceration in the 21st Century, How is it relevant today?

Introducing Campu: a podcast that offers a fresh, raw, and insightful scope into the diverse experiences of Japanese incarceree daily life during World War II. Campu analyzes the political, racial, social, psychological, physical, and systemic barriers that Japanese immigrants and Japanese Americans endured during this event in history.

The podcast also goes above and beyond by identifying and discussing how a collection of these events have created a long-lasting impact on our history today. By bringing together various unheard anecdotes, life events, and history, this podcast creates a unique take on the storytelling of Japanese incarceration.

I had the privilege ...

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culture en

Michelle Kumata, A Japanese-American Artist with Brazilian Ancestral Roots

Seattle native Michelle Kumata’s artistic journey has taken her across the country to New York and across the hemisphere to Brazil, not only to discover her identity and legacy but to express it through her work. By exploring her family’s Japanese-Brazilian (JB) roots, she shares her story of how, through oral histories and visual art, she has established a legacy for future generations of her family.

A shy, only child growing up, Michelle has become an accomplished artist whose work has been showcased in The Seattle Times, and in cultural centers, museums, and galleries locally and across the ...

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war en

Japanese Incarceration: Making a Difference One Person at a Time

My name is Marissa, and I'm a Girl Scout from South San Jose, California. I love the smell of coffee, a good book, the sea at sunset, a couple of cats, and most of all, keeping history alive. I am currently working on my Gold Award, which is the highest award a Girl Scout can earn. It requires over 80 hours of work and leadership on a project that helps the community and has sustainability.

​I am a fourth generation Japanese American. My maternal family came to America from Japan in 1923, while my paternal family immigrated from Japan ...

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community en

Bridging the Cultural Gap with Stories: The Zentoku Foundation

In 2018, Mark Nakakihara founded the Zentoku Foundation, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving stories of various generations of Japanese Americans. The Zentoku Foundation strengthens the Japanese American community by providing an enriching website and e-newsletters for all generations to cherish amazing stories, news, and upcoming events.

The Zentoku Foundation is unique because its meticulously delivered stories engulf its followers with deep, familial emotions. Much like the captivating emotions a bonsai enthusiast feels when observing the pure serenity of a completed bonsai, followers of the Zentoku Foundation sense the same harmony and raw emotions of each story. One ...

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community en

The Yonsei Memory Project: Keeping Stories Alive Through Inter-Generational Healing

For many Japanese American communities across the country, February 19 marks a Day of Remembrance. On that day seventy-seven years ago, in 1942, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, turning the west coast of the United States into an active military zone and granting the secretary of war broad powers within those exclusionary zones.

A reaction to widespread anti-Japanese xenophobia in the wake of Pearl Harbor, Executive Order 9066 paved the way for the illegal incarceration of Japanese and Japanese Americans residing in those zones in concentration camps across the country, from Manzanar in California to Jerome in ...

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